Terp Profile: Cornerback Lavonte Gater
Name: Lavonte Gater
Breakdown: Ballou cornerback Lavonte Gater became the first commitment of the Terps’ 2019 recruiting class as he remained loyal to his commitment through the coaching change that brought Mike Locksley, a Ballou alum, as the new head coach going into Gater’s freshman season. One of four incoming defensive backs, Gater was thrusted into a larger role his first season after starting senior Tino Ellis suffered a season-ending upper body injury.
The injury paved the way for Maryland to adjust as Gater, freshman Deonte Banks and redshirt freshman Vincent Flythe stepped up to fill the void. Though Gater has yet to record his first start, Gater recorded 29 tackles with one tackle for loss as he appeared in all 12 games in 2019, providing him with a sound building block heading into year two.
The Maryland secondary will also look to fill the void left by senior Marcus Lewis as new cornerbacks coach Henry Baker will be tasked with filling the starting spots, but the experienced gained from the young trio will serve them well as they hope to improve upon the Big Ten-worst pass defense a season ago. The physical style of play from Gater makes him bigger than his 5-foot-10, 168-pound measurables, but the D.C. product is expected to play a large role in 2020 as the trio of local underclassmen help turn things around. Maryland also signed junior cornerback Jakorian Bennett to close the 2020 early signing period to help add more experience along the backline, but Gater has a chance to emerge as a rising star in the secondary this fall.